Ever since FINRA launched its recent focus on representatives' failure to update their U4 disclosures, we now often receive calls from registered representatives who have received a FINRA Enforcement letter inquiring about their alleged failure to file U4 forms on reportable events which took place in the past, sometimes years in the past, such as financial judgments, bankruptcies or ancient arrests or convictions. Unless handled properly such failure to report and the sanction could result in a complete Bar or suspension on one's license as well as a mark on one's CRD or BrokerCheck,
Most recently we represented someone who allegedly did not report judgments from years before, which appeared on their credit history. Fortunately, the representative determined to hire an experienced FINRA attorney from the beginning instead of making the critical mistake of handling it himself or even initially respond on his own before having an attorney experienced with FINRA on his side. As a result, after two months, the results spoke for themselves - FINRA simply issued a Letter of Caution which is not reportable on a Form U4 and not included in the CRD registry. No sanction was issued other than the letter of caution. The total legal fees for this client, based on an hourly retainer amounted to under $2,000 which attorney fees no doubt would have been a lot higher, and the results much worse, if he had contacted us after he had responded to FINRA on his own and we would have to work with whatever was in-artfully articulated previously.
Lesson learned - it doesn't pay to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to your career and license to earn an income. Contact and retain a FINRA Attorney early in the process.
Stuart D. Meissner Esq.
Nationwide Toll Free and Free Phone Consult
Stuart D. Meissner Esq. is an experienced FINRA attorney who has practiced law for over 27 years, including as a FINRA Attorney, Securities Regulator and Prosecutor.